16:28 Apr. 10, 2016
OSCE mission came under fire despite a truce between Ukraine forces and pro-Russian separatist forces
The European Union criticised the "unprecedented level of violence" in eastern Ukraine after international monitors came under fire despite a truce between government forces and pro-Russian separatists.
"The significant increase of ceasefire violations in the Donetsk region represents an unprecedented level of violence" since the latest truce agreement in 2015, the office of EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini said in a statement.
The Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) said late on Saturday that a team of its monitors carrying out an observation mandate in eastern Ukraine had come under fire 50 kilometres (30 miles) south of rebel hub Donetsk.
A patrol in government-held territory on Saturday first heard an explosion 100-200 metres away from their car, after which there was gunfire from the same direction, with "at least three-four bullets flying one-two metres above their heads," the mission said.
There was no damage to the vehicle or people, and the patrol left the area immediately, it said. The OSCE also said it had observed a "significantly higher number of ceasefire violations" in the Donetsk region.
In a separate incident, a patrol of monitors in rebel territory observed a bullet hole in their vehicle, but it was not clear precisely when the car was hit.